Minneapolis pastor directly reaches out to addicts

We all have things we like a lot, sometimes obsessively.

This can lead to addiction.

Some addictions are silly and relatively harmless. One of mine for the better part of my life has been Chicago Cubs baseball. Go ahead, start writing your comments now about how they haven’t won the World Series in 101 years, how pathetic they are, etc.

I’ve heard it all before, including from own family.

I enjoy laughing it off.

Fellow Everyday Christian blogger Karyn Brownlee made a great point about addictions a few weeks ago, stating that we should harness those addictive tendencies toward faith and a deeper walk with God.

Off the top our heads, though, the word addiction usually has negative connotations.

That’s a fact the Rev. Jo Campe of Minneapolis clearly recognizes and addresses on a regular basis.

A piece in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune profiles Campe’s work with Recovery Church, an inner-city enclave which ministers directly to folks struggling with or recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.

Campe is a Methodist minister by trade and a recovered alcoholic. He says he concealed his alcoholism well and that his faith ultimately helped him change his direction.

“We stress how things can turn around, how Christianity can work,” he said. “Alcohol is not the problem; life is the problem. There’s a power that heals you by giving you a different way of life.”

The importance of applying faith to real-world problems is a cornerstone to future growth of Christianity. Having been in the same position as his parishioners, Campe can offer a perspective that lends him instant credibility.

“If you’re looking for a ‘high steeple church,’ you’re in the wrong place,” he said. “I’ve spoken on a podium with a choir behind me, and it was a great style for those churches. But this church is filled with people who understand life differently. They know that if they don’t change the way they are living, they are going to die.”


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